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  • Les Ondes Silencieuses [VINYL]
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Les Ondes Silencieuses [VINYL]

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Product details

  • Vinyl (21 May 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: The Leaf Label
  • ASIN: B000OPP7H2
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 884,362 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By C. O'Brien VINE VOICE on 30 May 2007
Format: Audio CD
Colleen is the alter ego of Parisienne Cécile Schott, doyenne of atmospheric ambience. Third album Les Ondes Silencieuses has largely abandoned the loops and samples of her earlier work in favour of organic instruments played in real time - many of them unfamiliar or archaic, like the viola da gamba (viol), a seven-stringed ancestor of the cello and the bass guitar, and the harpsichord-like spinet.

Scott's strength has always been in the evocation of atmosphere rather than in musical dynamism, and these pieces are tone-poems which evolve slowly through various moods. Some are more successful than others - the repetitive mathematical figures of Le Labyrinth are screamingly claustrophic (though perhaps that's the intention) and the six minutes of string-scraping on Les Ondes Silencieuses begins by evoking the secrets of the deep but swiftly descends into tedium.

The outstanding track here is the lovely Blue Sands, where Schott wrings a range of wildly different sounds from her viol using different playing techniques - bowing, finger picking and percussion mallets. The use of breathy clarinet notes on Sun Against My Eyes calls up the ennui of a summer's day and the lacy textures of Sea Of Tranquility evoke light reflected on water or the sun's rays scattered through the leaves of a tree in July.

Much of the music here is deeply simplistic, there's no denying its effectiveness. Whether it resembles music played by aliens for a courtly masque staged on another planet or a talented child let loose into a music shop is perhaps a moot point, but its power grows with repeated listenings.

by Clare O'Brien,
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on 18 May 2008
Format: Audio CD
This wafts along pleasantly enough, I suppose. But really it consists of rather self-indulgent, improvisatory noodlings on a variety of renaissance and early Baroque instruments. Cecile can obviously play, but this manages to be neither an interesting ambient album played on acoustic instruments (compare Robert Rich's "Temple of the Invisible") or a worthwhile fusion of styles. I have an unfortunate image of a rather drippy woman improvising soulfully on the gamba and noodling on the spinet. I cannot deny I'm something of a musical snob, but I'm usually open to something fresh and interesting. This is neither.

Oh, and the viol, or viola da gamba, isn't an ancestor of the 'cello or the electric bass. It's a family of instruments which are close cousins of the violin family, from treble to great bass, all of which have five to seven strings, tied on gut frets and are played upright between the knees with a bow. Cecile plays the bass viol, which is at the same pitch as the cello, rather nicely.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Quiet waves on the shores of scarcity 27 Jun. 2007
By Michael Jantz - Published on
Format: Audio CD
The title of this album is pristinely apt.

This is my first experience with the artist Colleen and I am completely hooked by the sound exhibited on this record. Every track begins gently and builds itself into a beautiful mixture of despair and apprehension. The album itself isn't depressing, but (and you ought to be able to tell this from the cover) it is perceivable that the music is designed to be taken seriously and listened to closely.

If you are expecting impressive technique or wild performances, you may be disappointed. Where "Les Ondes Silencieuses" succeeds most is in the texture and emotion of every piece of sound. The layers of orchestration are put down slowly, so as to build apprehension. First a cello, then a guitar, then a clarinet, etc. Even moments in which little sound is made are important. With this scarcity, Colleen draws up in her listeners a desire for more texture, another wave of emotion. The record oscillates between peaks of overwhelming feeling.

This is really a fine piece of neo-classical music and I'd recommend it to anyone looking for instrumental music that you can really listen to. This is not background music!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Hauntingly minimalist chamber music 20 Aug. 2009
By William Timothy Lukeman - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Colleen's latest offering isn't so much a departure from her previous work, as it is a stripping down to bare musical bones. The result is something just as enchanting as that previous work, but with the child-like fragility & loveliness muted in favor of an older child's grave & somber contemplation of the world. The beauty is still there, but the awareness of shadows & mortality is far more present now. Rather than being depressing, though, this makes for a shimmering, ghostly world in which innocence has been tempered with sorrow, resulting in an even deeper realization of the transience & preciousness of life. This is thoughtful without being coldly cerebral music, filled with passion that's expressed in a subtle, understated fashion.

Most highly recommended!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Colleen - Les Ondes Silencieuses 16 May 2011
By scoundrel - Published on
Format: Audio CD
_Les Ondes Silencieuses_ sees Colleen leaning a little more on the stringed instruments -- the viola de gamba, in particular. But the haunting strains of "This Place in Time" shows her to be as much a master of this as the harpsichord-like spinet on "Le Labyrinthe" (a track almost minimal in its classicism) or the clarinet (on the haunting "Sun Against My Eyes"). "Blue Sands" merges her guitar and the viola with a sense of quiet wonder, while "Echoes and Coral" extends that wonder through the clear, ringing tones of struck crystal glass. The sparseness of "Past the Long Black Land" emphasizes the silences between the instruments as much as the instruments themselves. Another stunning album.
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
great disappointment. 13 Aug. 2008
By Alexis W. Blaess - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Sometimes the artwork of a cd foreshadows a fantastic musical journey awaiting the listener. Unfortunately, Les Ondes Silencieuses is not the case. The artwork by iker spozio is sublime to say the least, one of the best cd covers I've seen in a while. It suggests a dreamy landscape full of nocturnal visions. The music, however, is a disastrous mess. Minimalism is beautiful when the it is inspired. Experimental music is fascinating when it is inspired. But Colleen was far from inspired here. She grabbed instruments she did not play well and tried to create a collection of pieces that suffer from a lack of musical skills. The cello and harpsichord tracks especially are painful to listen to. The album is at its best when she plays the guitar and the clarinet. But nevertheless, it is a big let down. I might be totally wrong. Give it a try and see if you like it. I recommend her two previous albums: Everyone Alive Wants Answers, and The Golden Morning Breaks.
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